State Quick Links


The State Festival is the signature event for Oregon Thespians. It is attended by over 1500 theatre students and teachers from around the state and features several main stage productions, dozens of one act plays, workshops and presentations.

Schools may apply to have one of their Main Stage Productions featured at the conference as one of the top high school shows of the year.  All troupes attending are expected to participate in some significant way. Participating troupes may bring one-act plays or scenes to showcase in the One Act Marathon, or present a troupe-sponsored Workshop. Workshops are also offered by local and national theatre professionals and college students and professors.

The qualifying top 10% in each category from the Regional Acting Competitions audition for the State Showcase at the State Conference. Judges select a minimum of two scenes or as many as 20% per category to perform at the State Showcase. Entries deemed superior at their Regional Competitions, by virtue of their advancement to the final round of auditions at State, are also eligible to enter the Individual Events competition at the International Thespian Festival in Lincoln, Nebraska in June.

Design/Technical Theatre events are also conducted, including a range of events in which students can advance for adjudication and recognition at both the State and National levels.

At the end of the conference, awards for Honor Troupe, technical achievement, and Scholarships are presented and a new State Board is elected. See SCHOLARSHIPS/HONORS for more information on teacher, troupe, and student opportunities.

High school students in grades 9-12, their theatre teachers, and chaperones are welcome at the conference. The registered Troupe Director MUST attend with the delegation, or designate an adult Troupe leader (with approval from their school). All students must be chaperoned by an adult (21 years or older) for the entire weekend of the conference.


Main Stage Productions

Plays Selected to perform at state.

The deadline for applying to bring a Main Stage Production to the State Festival is December 15 each year (productions performed by the second week in January are eligible). Before applying, please carefully review ALL information contained and linked to from this page. 

Each year, a number of Main Stage Productions by Oregon Thespian Troupes are selected to perform at the State Festival.

To have a production considered for one of the available Main Stage slots, read and follow the information and guidelines found in the SOP.

In addition to having your production considered, you may request a live response to your production (which becomes a part of your application).  Live responses are encouraged, but are not required.  They must be scheduled through the Main Stage Production selection committee according to the timeline outlined in the application process.

Note that advance planning and preparation are crucial to the success of a Main Stage Production at State.  Application and request deadlines are important for your fellow Thespian Troupe Directors, who have volunteered to facilitate the selection process.

If you are planning to have a main stage production considered for State, please review the technical specifications and stage layout of The Historic Elsinore Theatre (our State venue) so you can plan for a potential presentation at this site.

Empty Theater

Showcase Auditions

Troupe Directors must confirm participation for any entries who have qualified for the State Showcase Auditions.  

Click here to confirm participation by March 1.

The State Showcase Auditions for Oregon begin at the Regional Acting Competition, where the top 10% in each event (following the two or three schedule preliminary rounds for that event) are deemed superior and named Showcase Audition Qualifiers.

This designation also qualifies these entries to participate in the International Thespian Excellence Awards Showcase at the International Thespian Festival in June. (Note that some Oregon rules and events vary from Thespys, and not all events are held at ITFest).

At State, each entry performs one time before a team of two judges.  These judges provide adjudication and then consult to select two entries (or 10% of the number of entries, whichever is greater) to represent that event in the State Showcase.

The State Showcase Auditions typically happen on the Thursday of the State Festival, between Noon and 5 pm.  The day and time of the State Showcase itself can vary from year to year. All those participating in the auditions are encouraged to register and participate in the State Festival, but this is not required.

Troupe Directors must confirm their entries’ participation in the State Showcase Auditions, following Regionals and before the State Deadline.


Design and Tech Events

Students attending the State Festival are able to submit an entry in a DESIGN/TECH EVENT.  Entries are adjudicated, providing feedback and recognition.  Students can qualify to enter at the International Thespian Festival, as well.  The cost of entering is $10 per entry for current Thespian Members and $12 per entry for non-Thespian students.

Each Troupe is limited to 3 entries per Design/Tech Event.  If you have more students interested, we suggest you hold an “in-house adjudication” to select which three will represent your Troupe at the State level.

Here is the complete list of DESIGN/TECH EVENTS that will be adjudicated at the State Festival this year. CLICK on the event to get the rubric.

You can also find the SOP below.

Stage Management

Costume Design

Lighting Design

Scenic Design

Makeup Design

Sound Design

Theatre Marketing

Short Film

Tech Challenge



Troupes can bring one-act plays and cuttings to perform at State in the following categories: Playwriting, Freestyle, and/or Chapter Select. One-acts can range from staged readings to cuttings and 10 minute plays to fully staged one-acts, both published and original works, depending on the category. Troupes can enter more than one category (as time/space allows). Multiple entries per category are allowed.

  1. Playwriting Performance: Pre-selected Playwriting winners produce their own original plays and then perform at State, either as a staged reading or a fully staged production. Also, Playwriting shows can be considered for Chapter Select, but those productions should be a fully staged show, and needs to be entered in the Chapter Select category. See separate section for Playwriting Competition information.

  2. Freestyle: Freestyle is a performance venue open to anyone and just about anything. You can present one-acts, staged readings, cuttings, scenes, original works, 10 minute plays, or simply use it as a venue to share your rehearsed talents.

  3. Chapter Select: Chapter Select one-acts are screened at State Conference to become the one Chapter Select show recommended to perform at the International Thespian Festival in June as the representative top quality one-act in the Oregon State/Chapter that year. Chapter Select eligible shows will be adjudicated. The selected show, including all cast and crew, must plan to attend Festival and follow the IT Festival regulations regarding performance.


  1. Each show is allowed no longer than 45 minutes for performance, 10 minutes for set up and 5 minutes for strike.

  2. Plan to perform in a space no larger than 10’ x 15’.

  3. Use only essential costumes, scenery, and props.

  4. Furniture and other scenic items are not provided.

  5. Bring your own sound equipment, such as a portable stereo system, CDs, and speakers loud enough for both actors and audience to hear.

  6. Stage lighting is not guaranteed in every performance space.

  7. All One-Acts will be assigned performance space and time.

  8. All One-Acts will be grouped by category for performances. Be sure to select the correct category when you submit your One Act during your online registration.

  9. All One-Act Marathon plays will receive feedback from at least one respondent (Playwriting and Freestyle) or two Adjudicators (Chapter Select).

  10. All One-Acts receiving an overall SUPERIOR rating will be recognized.


Click below to see the rubrics used by adjudicators:






The deadline for Playwriting submissions is January 15 each year.

This is a postmark deadline.

Selected Playwrights will be announced at Regionals.

Mail two copies of your play and this form (signed by your Troupe Director) to:

Janet Van Wess

Liberty HS

• Please read and adhere strictly to the entry guidelines. If you intend to submit your work to the International Festival, check the EdTA website ( as their guidelines and deadlines do differ.

• Please mail this form (signed by your Troupe Director), with two  copies of your play, to the address listed on the Oregon Thespians website (  The postmark deadline is listed on the website.


Entry Guidelines:

·         Maximum length is 15 double-sided, typewritten pages, or 30 single-sided, typewritten pages, not including title page and dramatis personae.

·         Please use 1” – 1 ½” margins.

·         Please use a 12-point, simple font.

·         Please use all capitals for character indicators.

·         Please italicize all stage directions.

·         Please number each page.

·         Please proofread for correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

Plays are Judged based on the following criteria:

1) Character – Are the characters clearly-defined and/or well-developed? Is there enough contrast between characters to create dramatic tension?  Are the characters believable within the world of the play?

2) Dialogue – Is each character’s dialogue distinctive, helping to reveal and develop that character? Does expository and descriptive dialogue seem natural and consistent to the character? Is all dialogue motivated by objective, thus contributing to the play’s action?

3) Form – Is the dramatic action a product of character action and interaction?  Is there constant dynamic action, moving toward a climax?  Is there a satisfactory resolution?

4) Theatricality – Is the dramatic action clearly designed for stage presentation?  Can the play be easily staged?  Are the stage directions clear and helpful?

• The selection committee is made up of playwrights and theatre professionals from around Oregon.

• Awards will be given to first, second, and third place entries. Certificates of honorable mention may be awarded as well.

• All plays will receive written critiques.

• Meritorious plays will be announced at the Regional Acting Competitions when possible. Playwrights receiving meritorious awards are requested to produce their plays at the State Thespian Conference. Plays may be produced as a full one-act production or as reader’s-theatre-style staged readings.  Final recognition of playwrights occurs during the State Festival.

Contact Janet Van Wess with questions.


Parade of Troupes

The deadline to submit slides is April 1.

All Troupes participating in State are asked to submit one (1) Powerpoint slide for inclusion in the annual Parade of Troupes presentation.  The deadline to submit slides is April 1.

Submit by uploading at the link below.

Here’s what you can submit:

• 1 Slide (You can have multiple images on one slide)

• Maximum screen time of 30 seconds

• Custom Animation is okay

• No video or sound


Some tips and notes:

  • Your submission must be limited to one slide only.

  • If you use a specialty font, it will only look correct in the final presentation if the font is also installed on the computer showing the final presentation. You can send fonts as separate attachments, if you’d like. Otherwise, you should limit yourself to fonts that are common to most machines. Really common. Like, everyone has them..

  • You get one slide. Just one. The presentation you send (through the link provided) should be exactly one slide long.

  • If you assign a background to the slide, do not select “apply to all.” Do not use a master slide design. Create your one slide from scratch, as a standalone. A presentation of one.

  • Jazz up your slide using Powerpoint’s Custom Animation feature. Multiple images and moving titles are a lot more interesting than a static slide, and you can do all that you want with your size limit of 2 MB and your time limit of 30 seconds. No video or sound files, though.

  • Avoid using pre-made Powerpoint templates as these often incorporate a background on a master slide which will be lost when your slide is copied into the rest of the presentation. You can test your slide by copying and pasting it into another presentation (ideally on a different computer). That’s what we’ll be doing on this end.

  • It shouldn’t take you too long to test your slide because, as you know, there’s only one.

  • You can use your imaging software (photoshop or similar) to save high-resolution photos at a lower resolution, decreasing the amount of memory they take.

  • And make sure any images you use are compiled onto a maximum of 1 slide. Total.

  • Remember that your slide will be a part of a fast-moving, projected presentation. Aim for high visual impact. Use few words. Text will be difficult to read, limit it to titles and headlines only.

Save your one slide with your school name as the file name, and upload it at the link provided.


Questions? Contact Tom Cavanaugh


Theatre Etiquette Videos

Due April 1

Troupes participating at State are invited to submit a THEATRE ETIQUETTE VIDEO to be shown prior to each of the Main Stage Productions and State Showcase.  Up to four videos will be selected for presentation.

Videos should be no more than 3 minutes long, and creatively remind audiences of proper theatre etiquette around areas such as talking, cell phones, texting, food and drink, and other proper audience behavior.

Videos must be submitted on ONLINE.  Post your video as an unlisted video on YouTube and send the link to Tom Cavanaugh

Members of the State Board and STO will determine which videos will be shown at State.  Up to four videos can be featured!

This year’s submission deadline is April 1!  Post those videos!


Participant Forms

Troupe Directors are required to print, distribute, and collect complete, signed copies of each form below for each participating student in the State Festival.


2) For BOTH students AND adults, and for the duration of the event, another individual copy must go into each participant's nametag wallet, which they will receive at Festival registration check-in when the Troupe Director checks in.

3) A third set must be turned in at Festival registration check-in.

Required for ALL participants

Students without these signed forms will not be permitted to participate.

The required forms will be checked at registration.

  • Troupe Directors must keep their own set of copies, particularly of the Health Form.

  • Each student must keep a copy of their Health Form in their nametag wallet which they will receive at the Festival when your Troupe Director checks in.

Required for ALL participants

Students without these signed forms will not be permitted to participate.

The required forms will be checked at registration.

Troupe Directors must keep their own set of copies.


State SOP

This is currently being updated. v. 1.01 is out of date.

This is the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for State Thespian Festival.  The pdf below can be printed and added to a hardcopy manual, if desired.  Check the version number of any hardcopies you have. 

This is not the most current version. This page will be updated when the SOP is ready.


Honor Troupe

Honor Troupe applications this year are due by March 22 and are submitted online. 


Presentations happen at the State Thespian Festival.  Those who register online will receive further information about the presentation at State.  

We are continuing to develop the process by which an Oregon Thespian Troupe earns the title HONOR TROUPE.  Troupes must first qualify by earning at least 60 points on the online application form.  At the State Festival, a student-led presentation is given around a “Spotlight Focus.”

The presentation is intended to focus on something which really makes your Troupe’s efforts stand out.  We call it a SPOTLIGHT FOCUS, and it represents an activity or project that your Troupe undertook this year over and above your normal level of activity.  It should represent a reach, or an innovative step, in how you use existing resources and/or develop new ones.

Using guidelines from other states’ processes, we have established a point system to help Troupes demonstrate a mean level of activity for their Troupe.  When applying, you will be asked to provide information about your Troupe’s activities and projects in four areas:  Theatre Production, Community Service, Participation (in Oregon Thespians) and Outreach.

The point system was developed to encourage a solid, balanced level of involvement and activity across those four areas.  Up to 30 points may be earned for Theatre Production, up to 20 points for Community Service, up to 30 points for Participation, and up to 20 points for Outreach.  We have set the mark at 60 points to establish a base level of involvement.

Once a troupe establishes this level, attention turns to a specific project or activity that stretched the Troupe’s resources, created innovative connections, represented a risk, or otherwise stood as an “over and above” attempt.

This is what we would like the Honor Troupe designation to honor:  Troupes that maintain a balanced level of involvement and strive for excellence by stretching themselves in new and innovative ways.

Troupe presentations will be scheduled on the first day of the State Conference (the same day as Showcase Auditions and Tech Entries) and are to be given by students.  Adjudicators will validate the Troupe’s claims and those who satisfy the requirements will be named Honor Troupe.

All Honor Troupes will receive a certificate and be recognized at the conclusion of the State Conference.

 Troupes must first qualify by earning at least 60 points on the online application form.  At the State Festival, a student-led presentation is given around a “Spotlight Focus.”


State Financial Assistance Grant

Need funds to attend an Oregon Thespian event? Limited grants are available.


Grant recipients announced prior to the State registration deadline.


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